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February 13, 2009

Panthers' hiring rooted in Ross connection

Brian Baker's hiring as the Panthers' new defensive line coach today goes back to the relationship he was able to build with coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney through their mutual association with former NFL and college coach Bobby Ross.

Baker told the Observer late this afternoon that he worked with Fox as a training camp intern for the Chargers in 1992. Hurney was also with the Chargers' organization at that time.

Ross had just been hired as San Diego's coach at the time. Baker had played for Ross at Maryland and was on his staff at Georgia Tech.

Baker remained with the Yellow Jackets for four seasons after Ross took the San Diego job, but was invited to serve the internship in '92 and was assigned to work with the defensive backs, a position group headed by Fox.

Baker later joined the Chargers' coaching staff on a full-time basis in 1996. Though Fox was no longer on the San Diego staff then, Hurney was still with the organization.

Baker was one of several candidates Fox interviewed for the defensive line vacancy, and Baker's San Diego background with Fox and Hurney likely played a role in the hiring.

 "The relationship with John has been great over the years," Baker said.

"I'm equally excited about working in the same franchise with Marty Hurney, who's one of the best managers – one of the best people – in the business."

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 13, 2009 at 05:54 PM | Permalink


It's a small world after all...it's a small world...
The coaching carrousel keeps turning

Posted by: Jon in DC | Feb 13, 2009 6:26:11 PM

Buddy Baker, Jason baker, Baker's dozen, Bake me a chicken pot pie, will it ever stop?

Posted by: Scott | Feb 13, 2009 8:57:37 PM

Does it bother anyone else but me that we seem to be more interested in hiring based on acquaintances and friendships... and stripping the St. Louis Rams of all their D coach baggage... they coached poorly there so great, bring them to the place old players and boys club coaches go to die... let this be a notice to Hurney and Fox... after recent years coaching shake ups (first offensive now defensive), pep. going, and Delhomme staying... if they don't get to the playoffs and look better doing it... one or both of you are GONE! And thank god if neither of you have the backbone and good sense to back seat Delhomme, bring in quality coaches (meeks not included) and resign pep WHEN HE WANTED TO BE HERE!

Posted by: handyman | Feb 13, 2009 10:15:45 PM

cut jake at once

Posted by: kevin | Feb 13, 2009 10:25:57 PM

Coaching is nothing more than a fraternity of who you know, not what you know. I'm sure these recent hires know football but just like Hollywood, it's all who you know. Anything is better than the status quo. No matter who they bring in as assistants, however, Fox has to bend his unyielding defensive philosophy and get more aggressive. Start with rebuilding the Dline and bring in some competition at DB and we'll be a top 10 defense next year. Now if we can find a QB who doesn't throw off his backfoot into triple coverage we'll be good to go!

Posted by: gradyhog | Feb 14, 2009 7:21:52 AM

Gradyhog, and others, if John Fox walked on water, you would not be impressed at all. And his walking on water would definitely be attributed to knowing Him. Therefore, no one can impress you...even God. How did you get all of your jobs? Talent? Have a great day.

Posted by: whatever | Feb 14, 2009 7:56:12 AM

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